Halloween Games from the Roaring Twenties

01
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Old Fashioned Halloween Party Games

1929 Party Halloween Book. Scan by Barb Crews
One of the things I like to collect and read are old magazines, especially holiday ones. These games are from a few of the Dennison Party magazine and Bogie books in my collection.

If you're interested in bringing an old time feel to your Halloween party, why not try a few of these games from the 1920s party books.

The magazines suggest that a real "Hallowe'en" party should include all the old-time games that have come down from the time of the Druids and ancient Britons. These old games include Ducking for Apples, Roasting Chestnuts, Cutting the Flour Cake and Pulling a Root of Kale. But no instructions are given for those games, perhaps we need to find an old Druid book for help.

Following are games and descriptions taken directly from the Party Books.

02
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Witch and Cats, A Game to Play in School

Following are games and descriptions taken directly from the Party Books.

One child is selected to be the witch. She wears a paper cap and carries a cane. The others are cats and sit at their desks, their heads bent down over their folded arms.

The witch stands in front of the cats with her back turned towards them. Suddenly a cat meows. The witch wheels around to locate the sound. She hobbles up and down the aisles as muffled cat-calls are heard from different sources. When the witch thinks she has discovered the cat who last meowed, she taps the cat with her cane and sings, "If you are the cat that sang the song, jump on my broom and we'll travel along." If she guesses correctly, the cat and witch change places.
From 1929 Party Book

03
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Wishing Game - A Game to Play in School

Dennison Bogie Book. Scan by Barb Crews
Following are games and descriptions taken directly from the Party Books.

Each child is told to make a wish. She is then blindfolded and told to turn around several times. She must stand perfectly still while the bandage is removed from her eyes. If she sees the moon (on the blackboard) over her left shoulder, her wish will come true. If she sees it over her right shoulder, her wish will not come true. If she sees it directly in front of her, she will receive a gift. If her back is turned to the moon, she will live to be very old. If there are many children, let several of them be blindfolded at one time, for they simply adore this game and will want to play it several times.
From 1929 Party Book

04
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Paper Bag Mask - A Craft To Do In School

Scan from Party Book
Following are games and descriptions taken directly from the Party Books.

Let the youngsters design their own masks--what if eyes are unmated and hair is green; the more absurd the masks are the better the children will like them.

The lower part of the bag is cut to form the chin of the face and the features are cut from crepe paper and pasted in place. For variety, suggest that some of children make large, outstanding ears and long pointed noses of construction paper scored and bent into shape.

When it comes time to crown the masks with glory, a most astonishing crop of hair can be grown by cutting crepe paper into fringe. For the dolly type of golden locks, cut the paper across the grain; the fringe will fall in mannerly, soft crinkly strands. But for the wild bristly kind, cut the paper with the grain--'twill even stand up straight.
From 1929 Party Book

05
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Apple Run

Following are games and descriptions taken directly from the Party Books.

The players are divided into two equal lines facing each other. The leader of each line is handed an apple which at a given signal, is started down the line. Each person receiving the apple must do so with both hands, covering the apple entirely before passing it on to the next person. The action of passing the apple should be as rapid as possible. When an apple reaches the last person in line he must run quickly to the head of the line, take position there and start passing the fruit as before. The game continues until one side has had all of its players run with the apple and the leader is again at the head of the line.
From 1929 Party Book

06
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Tagging the Black Cat's Tail

Halloween Party. 1927 Dennison Party Magazine
Following are games and descriptions taken directly from the Party Books.

After one of the players is chosen to be "It" all the rest form a line by standing one behind the other, each placing his hands on the shoulders of the person in front of him. The long line of players represents the black cat and the last player in the line is the black cat's tail.

The object of the game is to have the one who is "It" tag the last player in line. The black cat (the line of players) tries in every way possible to prevent its tail from being tagged. The line can twist and twirl about in every conceivable manner in an effort to keep the tagger away from the tail. As soon as "It" succeeds in touching the last person in line that player takes "It's" place.

The player who was "It" takes his place at the head of the line and the game goes on as before. During all the twisting and maneuvering the players must keep hold upon each other. If a player loses his hold on the shoulders of the one in front of him, he must exchange places with "It" as a penalty for breaking the black cat in two.
From 1929 Party Book

07
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Spooning Match

Following are games and descriptions taken directly from the Party Books.

This match occasions much merriment because of the fact that no one knows exactly what is about to happen.

Several couples are chosen to take part in the match. They take their places at a table in full view of the rest of the group. Plates of ice cream are then placed before each contestant.

Each couple is given two spoons tied together with a cord six inches long.

At a given signal the match begins, each contestant endeavoring to eat his or her ice cream as fast as possible under the handicap of the tied spoons.

The pair finishing first wins the match.
From 1929 Party Book

08
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Ghosts

Following are games and descriptions taken directly from the Party Books.
  1. Use about a dozen white paper bags and put a different object inside each bag.
  2. Hang the bags up with a strong light behind them.
  3. Turn out all the other lights in the room and give everyone a few minutes to guess what the ghosts are.
  4. Bags should not be touched.
Dennison's Party Magazine, October-November 1927
09
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Witchery

Adapted from The Complete Halloween Book. Barb Crews
Following are games and descriptions taken directly from the Party Books.

Each player is blindfolded and gets to touch three different objects placed on a table. Depending on what objects are touched, their fortune is told. Objects should be moved around before each person has their turn.

Objects include:

  • A Tea Cup -- means an old maid or bachelor
  • A Saucer with Water -- a trip abroad is in their future
  • A Dollar Bill -- a fortune will soon be inherited
  • Deck of Cards -- means business success
  • Toy Car -- A romance will begun during an automotive trip
  • Pen -- fame through writing
  • Ring -- a wedding or engagement
  • Stone -- problems will arise, but not difficult ones
  • Cookie -- will become successful as owner of a tea room
  • Saucer containing Dried Beans -- will indicate the size of the future family
  • Bride Doll -- indicates a second marriage

Dennison's Party Magazine, October-November 1927
10
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Harvesting Corn and Beans

Following are games and descriptions taken directly from the Party Books.

Use a large dish with an equal amount of dried corn and beans. Empty it on the floor and the guests are to grab as much as they can, but boys gather the corn and girls only gather the beans. The one with the most wins, but 5 points are deducted for each wrong kernel or bean.
Dennison's Party Magazine, October-November 1927